Illustration of Derek Powazek by Adam Ellis

Posts about Community

Your Community Site is Not a Government

It’s time for these guys to stop playing pretend politics and admit that they’re not presidents, their sites are not countries, and we are not their citizens. They are caretakers of communities and they’d better start acting like it or they won’t have anyone to rule anymore.

AI is Not a Community Management Strategy

AI is not a community management strategy because it’s skipping the hard part of community management: deciding what’s allowed and what’s not. You can’t skip the definition step in community management because that’s literally the very first thing you have to do. You can’t just give a pile of bad stuff to the computer and say “you figure it out.” That’s just outsourcing your responsibility.

What We Can Learn from the Twitter Block Fiasco

After an intense night of thrash, including a lively #RestoreTheBlock hashtag, Twitter reverted the change. Now, then. What have we learned? And what can other companies with large communities take away from this teachable moment?

The Argument Machine

I’m not saying that Twitter was designed to create arguments. I’m just saying that, if you set out to create an Argument Machine, it’d come out looking a lot like Twitter.

On Seeding Communities

I’d like you to hold two slightly contradictory thoughts in your head at once for a few minutes. They are: 1. One of the best things you can do for a new community is seed it with good stuff. And: 2. One of the worst things you can do to your community is lie.


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Hi, I’m Derek. I make awesome community-centric web stuff. I sometimes post things to Instagram and Twitter. I’m mostly harmless. More.





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